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21c Museum Hotel 

Our Lighting Design for the Bentonville Hotel

The first new-build 21c Museum Hotel is located in Bentonville, Arkansas. The hotel is a block off the town square and anchors one end of the woodland trails connecting to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Trails. Our lighting design strategy had to balance hotel lighting with museum lighting. On the interior, natural light is introduced through a variety of architectural devices, including saw-tooth clerestory windows and angled windows. This gives each space a unique character based on its use.

With all areas of the hotel having the potential to be used for displaying art, dual usage posed many challenges during the lighting design development stages as we had to try to think ahead of the art team and prepare any open wall as display space. At the same time, it was vital not to overwhelm hospitality areas with too many light fittings.

The restaurant, for example, has lighting for the tables as well as art walls. Adjustable downlights are bright enough for use throughout the day, while the art lighting system is flexible enough for all future exhibitions.


2018 #3 Best Hotel - Southern Region USA
Conde Nast Traveller

Design Architect

Deborah Berke Partners 

Executive Architect

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

MEP Engineer

HP Engineering


21c Museum Hotels

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